Friday night I attended a retirement party for Eric Cable, a BCTV/Global cameraman for an amazing 38 years: and I came away from it full of memories and feeling totally vindicated for the way I … and many, many other serious retired journalists … have lamented the passing of local news’ Golden Era.
I was absolutely floored by the number of former co-workers who, in the course of our schmoozing and personal updates, also thanked me and praised me for “keeping it real” here on these pages; telling it like it is today in the news business; and not the way management and the p.r. promoters pretend it to be.
My blogging on the media has once more been vindicated. 🙂
There was one dissenter … a management type (surprise!) who refused to shake my hand and called me “Judas” … I suspect for being so publicly critical since my retirement of how I feel news has changed, and not for the better. Funny thing, though, my blog has no advertising, no revenues … just lays out the truth from my perpective. And really, if you think of it, the real “Judas” would be someone who advances and embraces the new lower standards, in return for silver … lots of it.
But thankfully, as Cable’s night showed me, there are still many real journalists and camera operators and editors … very skilled people, with mortgages to pay and families to raise ,who still work in the industry … but remain true to their craft and are honest enough to acknowledge the reality of what now surrounds them, and hope for better days down the line.
Even the guest of honour, in his own remarks, remembered the great days of the PAST (what does that tell you?) and how stories used to be told with cameramen who were right in there, consistently pushing the story themselves to a higher level and even calling out, demanding answers to tough questions.
Now, in case you’re wondering, this was not a company party: I no longer get invited to those. LOL!
Global feted Cable’s 38-years of service with a morning cake and coffee celebration in the company cafeteria. They used to mark long-time retirements with evening beer and food bashes in a private function room at a pub near the station. But times are indeed tough at Global! Hope Tony won’t feel slighted if they just do a cake and coffee celebration for him. 😉
The party I was invited to was put on by Cable’s former co-workers and friends … and it was great to be together again with so many who were part of BCTV’s ground-breaking days, when cameras told the story, and editors cut first to pictures, with reporters writing to the edited version.
And there happily were even some relative newcomers who also know and understand the potential of storytelling, good writing, the value of pictures and the real difference between breaking hard news and just pushing puffery.
Real reporters (old and new) and news junkies remember the days when BCTV reporters broke stories almost daily; when hard questions were the norm and not the exception; when investigative features regularly gripped the attention of viewers; and when politicians dreaded to see reporters approaching, not just greet them with smiles.
Times have changed … and I don’t believe for the better.
But it was good to see so many paying tribute to what local news used to be … and hopefully one day will be again.
And acknowledging the worst thing we can all possibly do is just remain silent and let the corporate bean counters keep watering down the soup in the belief no one will notice, say anything or care.